Speeches – Study Guide

Return to HSC Resources

Introduction

Module C, or The Craft of Writing, refers to the unit of study that has been prescribed by NESA to the English Standard and Advanced courses. Broadly speaking, the role of the student is to develop and refine their writing skills, whether that be creative, discursive, persuasive or otherwise. This is achieved by studying a wide array of texts and appreciating what aspects of the text’s form makes it unique.

In this study guide, we will deconstruct the key aspects of the The Craft of Writing rubric and how they should be engaged with in a response. Then, we will look at what to expect when sitting Paper 2, as well as a general guide to writing persuasive, discursive, creative and reflective responses for this module.

Prescribed texts

The speeches prescribed for this module are as follows:

  • First speech to the House of Representatives as Member for Barton(2016) by Linda Burney
  • How to Live Before You Die(2005) by Steve Jobs
  • Funeral Service of The Unknown Australian Soldier(1993) by Paul Keating
  • The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination(2008) by J.K. Rowling

These short texts have been selected by NESA because they, in more ways than one, exemplify the complex ways in which language can be manipulated to explore interesting ideas. By studying and implementing these techniques, students can therefore gain a better understanding of how to improve their own writing. In consideration of this, it may be helpful to ask yourself exactly why and how your prescribed texts relate to this module.

Text summaries

The following section contains a synopsis for each of the aforementioned speeches. as well as their key themes and stylistic features.

First speech to the House of Representatives as Member for Barton(2016) by Linda Burney

According to the Parliament of Australia website, ‘A Member’s first speech, previously referred to as a maiden speech, is a tradition that originated from the British House of Commons. It is a significant occasion and an opportunity for a new Member to outline to Parliament what they hope to achieve.’ This definition is fitting for Burney’s speech, who was the first Aboriginal person to serve in the NSW Parliament in 2003 and the first Aboriginal woman to be elected to the Australian House of Representatives in 2016. Speaking partially in her native language, Barney outlines her intentions to advocate for education, social justice and equality, particularly for Indigenous Australians. In order to effectively move the audience, who extends beyond the House of Representatives and into the general Australian public, Barton relies heavily on emotive language, historical allusions and a multitude of personal anecdotes. Ultimately, she issues a strong message to young Indigenous Australians – ‘If I can stand in this place, so can they – never let anyone tell you, you are limited by anything.’

Key themes:

  • Culture and identity
  • Empowerment
  • History
  • Social justice and equality

Key stylistic features:

  • Personal anecdotes
  • Historical allusions
  • Emotive language
  • Pathos
  • Bilingualism
  • Second person pronouns (direct address to the House of Representatives)
  • Collective pronouns

How to Live Before You Die(2005) by Steve Jobs

The foremost aim of Jobs’ speech is to motivate his audience, Stanford University’s graduates in 2005, to never cease exploring the full extent of their lives’ potential. As the founder of one of the largest companies in the world, Apple, Jobs was a person who embodied the validity of the idea that having a strongly defined sense of ingenuity is the foremost precondition in attaining social prominence. Yet, Jobs never lost his ability to maintain his easy-going manner. This speech displays Jobs’ humble nature through his use of a strong personal voice, humour and various anecdotes, which offers insightful pieces of advice to his audience.

Key themes:

  • Dreams
  • Fate and destiny
  • Potential and success
  • Passion

Key stylistic features:

  • Personal anecdotes
  • Casual register
  • Humour
  • Rhetorical questions
  • Personal voice
  • Anaphora

Funeral Service of The Unknown Australian Soldier(1993) by Paul Keating

In his Remembrance Day eulogy to the unknown Australian soldier who rests at the Hall of Memory in the Australian War Memorial, then-Prime Minister Paul Keating conveys the story of sacrifice, honour and comradery to his Australian audience. Pathos is the key to this speech, as Keating appeals to Australian culture and values, concluding that the unknown soldier represents our love for democracy, patriotism and ‘what it means to be Australian.’

Key themes:

  • Unity
  • Patriotism
  • War
  • Sacrifice
  • Honour

Key stylistic features:

  • Pathos
  • Symbolic motif of the Unknown Soldier
  • Anaphora
  • Collective pronouns
  • High modality language

The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination (2008) by J.K. Rowling

Rowling is an internationally renowned English novelist and author of the best-selling book series in history, Harry Potter. Having lived a ‘rags to riches’ life and been the subject of various controversies in past years, she offers insightful and complex perspectives as to what it means to ‘fail.’ Rowling reveals her personal experiences a range of language techniques, such as personal reflections, anecdotes on her experiences, a confident tone created through use of high modality and second person pronouns and directly addressing the audience to convey her emotions to create an engaging and original voice.

In her speech, Rowling shows that failure teaches you things that you would otherwise be unable to learn about yourself and the world. Her seemingly counter-productive message to the Harvard graduates is that they should be comfortable with failing, as this is what will allow them to envision a better world. While the speech was initially made as a commencement address at Harvard University, in 2015, Rowling published the speech into a book. As such, the broad audience – consisting of the general public – makes her text easily accessible.

Key themes:

  • Failure and success
  • Imagination
  • Wisdom
  • Empathy and advocacy

Key stylistic features:

  • Personal anecdotes
  • Emotive language
  • Humour
  • High modality language
  • Pathos
  • Second person pronouns (direct address to Harvard graduates)

Initial considerations

No matter which text you are assigned as your prescribed text, it must be analysed in terms of the The Craft of Writing rubric. Some initial considerations you should deliberate before writing a response in order to consolidate your understanding of the texts and the module include:

  • Your personal writing style and how it can be expanded
  • The composer’s purpose in creating the speech – is it to provide commentary on social and political issues, spark a certain emotion in responders, challenge cultural beliefs and stereotypes or a culmination of all of the above?
  • The literary significance of the texts (awards, accolades, critical and commercial reception) – what do the broader responses to text mean? Why does society regard the text as being important or notable? What makes a text ‘enduring’ and ‘quality?’
  • How the form, structure, genre and style of each speech deeply influences the ways in which messages, themes and ideas are depicted by the composer and interpreted by the responder
  • The ways in which the composer has presented something new and therefore pushed boundaries of what texts can be
  • Deconstructing the rubric

    As with any module, we must first look to the The Craft of Writing rubric to understand what it really is that we are asked to do. In fact, every potential HSC examination question can come only from this rubric, so it is imperative that we study the links between your texts and the major points in the The Craft of Writing rubric. The rubric is as follows:

    ‘In this module, students strengthen and extend their knowledge, skills and confidence as writers. They write for a range of authentic audiences and purposes to convey ideas with power and increasing precision.

    Students appreciate, examine and analyse at least two challenging short prescribed texts as well as texts from their own wide reading, as models and stimulus for the development of their own ideas and written expression. They examine how writers of complex texts use language creatively and imaginatively for a range of purposes, to describe the world around them, evoke emotion, shape a perspective or to share a vision.

    Through the study of texts drawn from enduring, quality texts of the past as well as from recognised contemporary works, students appreciate, analyse and assess the importance and power of language. Through a considered appraisal of, and imaginative engagement with these texts, students reflect on the complex and recursive process of writing to further develop their ability to apply their knowledge of textual forms and features in their own sustained and cohesive compositions.

    During the pre-writing stage, students generate and explore ideas through discussion and speculations. Throughout the stages of drafting and revising, students experiment with a range of language forms and features for example imagery, rhetoric, voice, characterisation, point of view, dialogue and tone. Students consider purpose and audience to carefully shape meaning. During the editing stages students apply the conventions of syntax, spelling, punctuation and grammar appropriately and effectively for publication.

    Students have opportunities to work independently and collaboratively to reflect, refine and strengthen their own skills in producing crafted, imaginative, discursive, persuasive and informative texts.

    Note: Students may revisit prescribed texts from other modules to enhance their experiences of quality writing.’

    Let’s look at some example questions you could receive in the HSC examination and what aspect of the rubric it most closely reflects (remember, some questions can be a combination of different elements of the rubric!). Then, we will deconstruct what the statement actually means and, most importantly, how you can apply it to your response.

    Extending your knowledge, skills and confidence in writing

    • Potential question: a) Compose a persuasive, discursive or creative response that is influenced by the stylistic features of ONE of your prescribed texts. (12 marks)
    1. b) Compose a reflective statement that justifies your creative decisions in part a). (8 marks)
    • Rubric statement from which the question is derived from: ‘In this module, students strengthen and extend their knowledge, skills and confidence as writers. They write for a range of authentic audiences and purposes to convey ideas with power and increasing precision.’

    No good writer is born a good writer. Some may have more natural talent than others, but it is ultimately our ability to learn from others and apply those skills to our own work that we become better at what we do. Whether that be analysing the empowering rhetoric of Keating’s Funeral Service of The Unknown Australian Soldier and how it appeals to Australian values, or understanding what makes Rowling’s address to Harvard graduates so captivating in its personal nature, taking inspiration from established composers and their unique writing styles can hugely improve our own work. This is the main goal of this module – to teach students how to be better writers.

    Another aspect to this rubric statement is not only how we can become better writers, but how we develop confidence knowing that what we are writing is good. This confidence allows us to be able to share our work with others, receive constructive criticism and use these criticisms to further improve ourselves. This may be difficult for many and is certainly not a straightforward process. However, by becoming open to new ideas without feeling personally criticised, we learn to work through our weaknesses and, eventually, become more confident in our writing.

    Lastly, this rubric statement focuses on the students’ ability to convey ideas with ‘power’ and ‘precision.’ Markers expect you to be able to carefully control what you write and ensure that you don’t go off on unnecessary tangents. This is extremely important, as you want to express as many complex thoughts as you can within the given time limit. In other words, every word you write must count. They each have to add something meaningful to your essay, discursive piece or creative story.

    The purposes of complex texts

    • Potential question: Based on ONE stylistic feature of your prescribed texts, compose an imaginative response that aims to evoke a strong emotion from the reader by sharing a unique perspective.
    • Rubric statement from which the question is derived from: ‘They examine how writers of complex texts use language creatively and imaginatively for a range of purposes, to describe the world around them, evoke emotion, shape a perspective or to share a vision.’

    Firstly, let’s deconstruct what the term ‘complex’ means. After all, isn’t art subjective? What is considered ‘complex’ or a ‘good’ text differs from person to person. However, there are some texts that are undeniably well-composed and engaging, even if it doesn’t suit everyone’s personal style. One of the reasons for this is the fact that these texts aim to achieve – and do so successfully – various purposes. The rubric gives the examples of describing the world around us, evoking certain emotions, shaping perspectives and sharing a vision. Yet, there are a large variety of purposes that each text can have. Looking to the prescribed speeches provides us with the following examples:

    • Amusing and entertaining audiences
      • g. the humour used in Rowling and Jobs’ speeches
    • Channelling the composer’s experiences into something productive and meaningful
      • g. the personal anecdotes and voice used in Burney, Rowling and Jobs’ speeches
    • Communicating new ideas and possibilities to others
      • g. the commencement addresses made to university graduates by Rowling and Jobs
      • g. Keating using the Unknown Soldier as a symbol to unite Australians
    • Continuing a cultural ritual
      • g. Burney’s emphasis on the significance of her cultural identity, as well as her use of bilingualism
    • Educating others on a particular subject
      • g. Burney’s goal to raise awareness about the issues that Indigenous peoples have faced and continue to face
      • g. Rowling’s goal to pass on her wisdom to Harvard graduates and, later, the general public

    While there are certainly more reasons that art is made, this list gives you an idea as to why most people feel compelled to create texts of their own. Your text will likely aim to achieve a combination of these purposes. Your job is to understand exactly how the composers do this. That is, exactly which techniques and language features do they use to convey new perspectives, or evoke anger in readers? How do they manipulate genre to experiment with new ideas or retell a classic story in a new way? Once you have a good understanding of the methods of the composer, you then have to be able to take inspiration from these methods and try to apply them to your own writing.

    The enduring power and importance of language

    • Potential question: a) Compose a discursive piece that discusses the power of language in creating enduring stories that are relevant to both the past and the present. (10 marks)
    1. b) Compose a reflective statement that explains how you emulated a thematic or stylistic feature of TWO of your prescribed texts for Module C in your part a) response. (10 marks)
    • Rubric statement from which the question is derived from: ‘Through the study of texts drawn from enduring, quality texts of the past as well as from recognised contemporary works, students appreciate, analyse and assess the importance and power of language.’

    As mentioned previously, the various elements of a text – its purposes, style, form, themes and contribution to society – make it memorable and culturally significant. As a result, we can argue that these texts have an enduring power. That is, despite the fact that most of the speeches were written decades ago, they still hold relevance to us as a contemporary audience. Perhaps, some of the themes mentioned are universal and therefore can apply to every person, no matter their race, gender, religion, era or nationality. Your job is to question (and answer) exactly why this the text has enduring relevance to not only us, but different audiences from different ages and societies. As mentioned in section 1.2, each of the four speeches explore universal themes that ensure its enduring value:

    • First speech to the House of Representatives as Member for Barton(2016) by Linda Burney
      • Culture and identity
      • Empowerment
      • History
      • Social justice and equality
    • How to Live Before You Die(2005) by Steve Jobs
      • Dreams
      • Fate and destiny
      • Potential and success
      • Passion
    • Funeral Service of The Unknown Australian Soldier(1993) by Paul Keating
      • Unity
      • Patriotism
      • War
      • Sacrifice
      • Honour
    • The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination(2008) by J.K. Rowling
      • Failure and success
      • Imagination
      • Wisdom
      • Empathy and advocacy

    Then, we must make links between the enduring power of these texts and the power of language. In other words, by examining exactly how a text has such a profound cultural impact, we begin to realise what speeches can actually do. They are powerful ways in which we can communicate with others, whether that be to raise awareness about the lived experiences of Indigenous Australians or inspire confidence in university graduates. In your responses, you must clearly explain to the marker exactly what the impact of the text is, and how this shows that language can influence an entire society in some way or another.

    Textual form and language features

    • Potential question: Discuss the significance of textual forms and features in ONE of your prescribed texts. In your response, explore how studying this text has developed your ability to create sustained, cohesive compositions.
    • Rubric statement from which the question is derived from: ‘Through a considered appraisal of, and imaginative engagement with these texts, students reflect on the complex and recursive process of writing to further develop their ability to apply their knowledge of textual forms and features in their own sustained and cohesive compositions.’

    As mentioned before, the form of a text – that is, features of the text that relate to its structure, style, genre or techniques – is an extremely important feature that should not be dismissed. After all, a really interesting, clever speech idea would not matter if the speaker does not know how to deliver the message in an engaging way. It should always be considered whilst studying the texts and emulated in your own compositions whenever possible. After all, the majority of Module C questions will ask you to use the stylistic features of your prescribed texts in your own writing.

    The following are examples, but certainly not a complete or even extensive list, of common features or tropes that can be found in speeches:

    • Second person and collective pronouns – similar to theatre, live speeches are often given in the immediate presence of an audience, meaning good speeches must be able to directly engage with the responder
    • Rhetorical questioning
    • Anecdotes
    • Anaphora
    • Assertive tone
    • Rhetoric
      • Logos (logic) – when a speaker persuades an audience by using logic. The argument is rational and supported by objective evidence. You can create logos in your speech by using facts, statistics, quotations from experts, outlining a process step by step, or by explaining your reasoning. Logos is most effective when combined with ethos and pathos, as logos on its own is not engaging
      • Ethos (ethics) – when a speaker appeals to the ethical values of an audience. Primarily, speakers do this by representing themselves as ethical and trustworthy people (ethos is the Greek word for ‘character’). You should use personal anecdotes to develop the persona of your speaker, and give the audience a reason to listen to them. You can also create ethos by presenting a fair and balanced argument, rather than a purely emotional rant. Logos can help to create ethos
      • Pathos (emotions) – when a speaker appeal to the emotions of an audience. All effective speeches must use pathos, as emotional appeals are the most effective way of engaging an audience. You can create pathos by directly addressing the audience, using creative techniques to make your anecdotes more evocative, putting your audience in someone else’s position, or creating hypothetical scenarios of the future. You can also appeal to cultural values, such as religious, nationalist, or family values.
    • Nature of language used
      • Is it sparse, eloquent and flowery, colloquial or meant to reflect a certain culture? Why would the speaker choose to write the voice in this way?
    • Humour, used to engage with the audience
      • Puns
      • Irony
      • Sarcasm
      • Hyperbole

    Think of the form, structural features and nature of language as deliberate choices made in order to most effectively tell the message they needed to tell in the speech – they aid composers in exploring universal themes as a medium through which they can communicate with the responder.

    The pre-writing stage

    • Potential question: a) Rewrite one of the key scenes from ONE of your prescribed texts from the perspective of a different character.
    1. b) Compose a reflection that details your drafting, experimenting and editing processes.
    • Rubric statement from which the question is derived from: ‘During the pre-writing stage, students generate and explore ideas through discussion and speculations. Throughout the stages of drafting and revising, students experiment with a range of language forms and features …’

    One thing that you will learn from this module is the fact that writing is a process. Words do not simply flow from a person’s brain to their pen without any effort. In fact, the most celebrated authors and composers undoubtedly underwent an extremely drawn-out cycle of drafting, editing, receiving feedback from others until they felt satisfied with their work. This module aims to teach you to embrace the pre-writing stage, which includes discussing your ideas with other peers and teachers, writing out a first draft (which will most likely be imperfect) and accepting and incorporating others’ criticisms into a second, reworked draft. Every time you go through this cycle of writing, you will become a better writer as you identify your weak areas and correct them.

    Another aspect to this rubric statement is the idea that students should ‘experiment with a range of language forms and features.’ While we each have our own, unique writing styles, one of the best ways that we can improve is to take inspiration from others – in this case, the prescribed speeches. This may be as simple as trying out a new technique that you may never have used, such as puns, rhetorical questioning or second person pronouns. It can be a bigger change, such as actively implementing the use of logos so that your speech appears more objectively trustworthy. Regardless, you should be treating Module C as a way for you to experiment with new ideas and new ways of writing that you have encountered in the prescribed texts. Refer to section 1.1 to see a list of key stylistic features in each of the prescribed speeches that you should experiment with.

    Writing a The Craft of Writing response

    What to expect from Paper 2

    Now that you have familiarised yourself with precisely what NESA is asking of you in this module, you should begin to understand what you should expect from Paper 2. The following is a summary of key points you should know long before going in to the exam:

    • Paper 2 consists of three sections
      • Section I – Module A response
      • Section II – Module B response
      • Section III – Module C response
    • It will be 2 hours of writing time, with an additional5 minutes reading time (you will not be able to mark your page in any way during this time)
      • This means you should be devoting approximately 40 minutes to each section. While you don’t have to evenly divide time between the three modules, we recommend that you stick to this guideline as much as possible
    • All sections are out of 20 marks each
    • You must only write in blue or black pen

    Being a guide to Module C, this study guide will focus on Section III. This section is not as straightforward as the other modules in that you may be given a variety of questions and question types. You may be expected to write in a variety of forms, such as a full essay with an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion, a discursive text, a creative response or any other hybrid form. Regardless, all questions will draw from any aspect of the The Craft of Writing rubric (including specifying form!), though it may sometimes include quotes and extracts or rewrite statements from the rubric in a different way. You must come prepared with a solid understanding of your prescribed texts, as well as plans for each text type you may be asked to write in. And remember, Module C evaluates your ability to link your study of these texts to the development of your writing skills.

    Constructing an essay

    In a Module C essay, the following structure should generally be followed.

    • Introduction: 6 sentences maximum, approximately 150 words
      • General introductory sentence
      • Thesis – your direct answer to the question that defineskey terms of the question and makes a judgement on the question asked
      • Brief summary of main three ideas and how this relates to question
      • Conclude using an evaluative adverb to demonstrate how you will develop a thoughtful response
    • Body paragraph one, approximately 250 – 300 words
      • Topic sentence that uses the language of the question
      • Broad idea – emphasise more specifically what you mean by the topic sentence, providing any contextual information as necessary. Two sentences maximum
      • Sub-idea one with evidence
      • Sub-idea two with evidence
      • Sub-idea three with evidence
      • Concluding statement
    • Body paragraph two, approximately 250 – 300 words
      • Topic sentence that uses the language of the question
      • Broad idea – emphasise more specifically what you mean by the topic sentence, providing any contextual information as necessary. Two sentences maximum
      • Sub-idea one with evidence
      • Sub-idea two with evidence
      • Sub-idea three with evidence
      • Link to paragraph one
      • Concluding statement
    • Body paragraph three, approximately 250 – 300 words
      • Topic sentence that uses the language of the question
      • Broad idea – emphasise more specifically what you mean by the topic sentence, providing any contextual information as necessary. Two sentences maximum
      • Sub-idea one with evidence
      • Sub-idea two with evidence
      • Sub-idea three with evidence
      • Link to paragraphs one and two
      • Concluding statement
    • Conclusion
      • Reaffirmation of thesis
      • Brief summary of each paragraph/idea
      • Evaluative statement about the importance of this discussion. Use an evaluative adverb such as purposefully, cleverly, insightfully in order to assess the question and your argument as a whole

    Of course, this is only a general guide to writing a sound essay. As frustrating as it can be to hear, there is simply no single scaffold you can follow to impress a marker, as each module will have different requirements, every student’s writing style will differ, and markers will have different tastes.

    The most important advice to keep in mind when writing an essay is to have a strong thesis. Learn to define the question in your own terms – this is what your thesis is, not simply a restatement of the question. If you state this thesis at throughout your body paragraphs (not simply the topic and concluding sentences), your essay will have a strong argument and persuade the marker that you are confident in your case.

    Discursive texts

    Any text type can be ‘discursive’ or contain discursive elements. The word ‘discursive’ is simply the adjectival form of the word ‘discourse,’ which means ‘to converse’ or ‘to speak.’ For example, speeches – such as Steve Jobs’ speech How to Live Before You Die – are often both discursive and persuasive. A narrative written in first person may also be discursive. The main feature of discursive writing is the personal voice.

    Structure

    There is no set structure for a discursive. The introduction should engage the reader’s attention, and the conclusion should be emotionally powerful. Students can choose to have several smaller paragraphs in the main body, or just two or three larger paragraphs. (Note: You should begin a new paragraph when you begin to discuss a new topic or perspective, or when you are introducing a new piece of evidence).

    Content

    Most pieces of discursive writing – whether that is a speech, an article, a letter, an essay, or something else – will shift between descriptions of the topic, and the personal thoughts and experiences of the writer. The writing should be emotionally evocative, even if you choose to write with a more formal register.

    Techniques

    Students should use a range of language techniques in their discursive writing to evoke emotion and to represent their ideas in an engaging manner. This includes imagery, symbolism, similes, metaphors, personification, repetition, rhetorical questions, high and low modality, etc. Using these techniques also demonstrates more sophisticated control of language.

    Perspective

    Discursive writing will be written partially or entirely in first person. However, this personal perspective will often be supported by evidence. This evidence could include intertextual references to other narratives, or to poems and songs; allusions to historical situations or figures; quotations from writers, academics or celebrities; personal anecdotes; descriptions of the social context of the audience.

    Creative response

    Creative writing is a skill that is difficult to learn, mostly because of the fact that good stories do not take one form. For example, a saga set in space that deals with questions of morality and justice is not inherently better than a simple story that takes course over an average businessman’s lunch break. Instead, good writing is judged on the overall effectiveness and cohesiveness of a story rather than its specific parts. That is to say, there is no ‘formula’ or scaffold in which you can follow in writing a story as there might be when writing an essay. Each writer will inevitably have different writing styles, quirks and nuances – it is up to you to capitalise on and focus on your strengths, whilst still working on improving your weaknesses, to create an effective piece of writing.

    Regardless of the fact that all short stories are extremely different in their plot, style and themes, there are some features that will assist you in writing a more effective story. Firstly, one of the most important characteristics of any good story is having a convincing purpose. That is, though you may not think essay writing and creative writing are the same in any way, both forms actually have a thesis/argument that you are attempting to prove that you are trying to prove to the reader. A short story is, in essence, an essay in actionYour very first step in writing a story is choosing a purpose – in other words, the moral of your story.

    Secondly, every engaging story must have a sense of development in either the world or the characters. Without this change, there is no story to be told. A character or a society must have had their values or perspectives on the world challenged, an obstacle to overcome or an event that confronts their fears, beliefs, etc. Your character/world should never be the same from start to finish.

    Above all, make sure that you are following the stimulus given instead of simply rewriting a memorised story. Think of what the stimulus inspires in you, as well as how it might be relevant to your prescribed text.

    Personal reflections

    Alongside writing a persuasive, discursive or creative piece, it is very possible that you will be asked to additionally write a personal reflection. That is, you will be required to justify your creative decisions and explain how these decisions were influenced by your prescribed texts. Although reflective statements do not necessarily have the same tone as essays, it may be helpful for you to conceptualise its structure as something similar, such as the following:

    • Introduction
      • Topic sentence responding directly to the question
      • Title and text type and brief summary of what it is about (2 sentences maximum)
      • Purpose of your text
        • Your purpose can be to convey a specific idea, to experiment with textual form, to convey a different perspective of a narrative or character, to criticise social values, etc.
      • Target audience (if relevant)
      • Stylistic features that you used – link these to your Module C texts
    • Two small body paragraphs
      • Topic sentence identifying the stylistic feature that you have used
      • Explain how this stylistic feature was used in your Module C text (providing a quote from the Module C text is not necessary, but can help add detail to the response)
      • Explain how this stylistic feature achieves your purpose
        • g. ‘By using passionate adjectives such as ‘despicable’ and ‘tormented,’ I was able to create pathos and empower my audience to participate in politics.’
      • Provide a quote from your own piece of writing that uses the identified stylistic feature, and explain how this can effectively convey your main idea and/or achieve your purpose
      • Provide a second quote from your own piece of writing that uses the identified stylistic feature, and explain how this can effectively convey your main idea and/or achieve your purpose
      • To summarise, briefly explain how you achieved your purpose through the writing process
        • ‘Through reading Burney’s speech, I was able to select rhetorical techniques that would directly convey my ideas to my audience. After reflecting on my work, I achieved the level of pathos used by Burney.’

    However, there is ultimately no requirement that you follow this strict introduction-body-conclusion structure. You may choose to simply write your response in normal paragraphs. Your paragraphs can be grouped thematically like you would in an essay. The tone of the personal reflection should also be, obviously, quite personal. You may (and should) use first-person pronouns like ‘I’ and ‘my.’ Above all, write what feels natural to you.

    Regardless of your structure, you still need quotes, examples and analysis of your original text. A stronger reflection statement will clearly identify how the narrative form and language techniques achieve your purpose. A stronger reflection statement will also be detailed and provide evidence from your own writing.

    Conclusion

    The The Craft of Writing module can certainly seem extremely overwhelming at times. There are many aspects of the rubric to familiarise yourself with. It is therefore important to maintain a focused attitude and show to markers your personal ideas and beliefs about the text.

    Final tips

    • Avoid writing memorised responses. It is incredibly easy to recognise when a student has done so, and markers are ultimately judging you based on how well you are able to think critically and not simply regurgitate an essay or a creative response. This is especially important to Module C, which many regard as the most unpredictable unit of study – you never know what they may ask of you, so it is best to familiarise yourself with all the text types and create plans for each
    • Write lots and lots of practise responses. You may (and should) begin setting no timer so that you can clearly express your thoughts without timed pressure, but gradually move on to putting yourself under exam conditions so that the actual assessment will feel familiar to you. This, as well as actually writing responses out on paper and not simply on a computer, is going to make a huge difference
    • Themes and rubric statements can and do mix. This is because texts are not produced against such distinct lines or categories. They are only here to provide basic structure to your responses so that you and the marker can better understand the point you are trying to make
    • It is ideal to discuss form in an essay or personal reflection even if the question does not ask for it. Of course, in that case, it would not have to be your primary concern, but even a sentence or two about the structural features or language used in the texts could show the marker that you really understand how the text has influenced your writing
    • When writing a creative response, try to limit your story to 2 – 4 characters, with the main plot not exceeding 24 hours. This way, your story is more manageable and therefore more detailed
/**google code below*/ /**google code above*/